As the daughter of a tapestry weaver, I grew up with a few key phrases in my lingual arsenal that related to tapestry.
One was this: “Tapestry is painting with fiber.”
One of the main differences between tapestry and other types of weaving is that tapestry isn’t about following a pattern. That isn’t to say you don’t have to plan a tapestry (although you don’t have to; sometimes choosing some beautiful yarn and just weaving can produce lovely results), but even with planning there is not a prescribed way to get from point A to point B. This is why it is like painting. A painter will plan his or her painting, but the techniques he or she uses are chosen as the painting comes to life.
To me, this is what makes tapestry so wonderful. It is a continual creative process. With tapestry, you are making decisions as you go and bringing your tapestry to life bit by bit.
Perhaps this is why tapestry is such a meditative art form. Your mind stays focused (and not on, let’s say, the fact that you really should vacuum today and you have a project due at work tomorrow that you haven’t even started) because you are focused on creation, on decisions and on your art.
If you haven’t tried tapestry, don’t be intimidated. It is an art form, and it will take time to master, but that process is a journey you will truly and deeply enjoy.
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